i should officially post and inform you that the rumors are true. 1 month and 4 days have passed since i landed in Seattle, and probably for the first time in my life - i am proud to be back on this side of the world. happy to be in the good ol' U.S.of A. relieved for a whole list of reasons, and sad for a list equal in length.
part of me feels as if india was one of those hallucinated melatonin induced dream sequences. like one morning i woke up and there was a goat playing the harmonica in my bathtub. i don't know how it happened, but it did, and it was real, and i got the pictures to prove it...but why dear God was there ever a goat? How was that ever my reality? Life is incredible. On the 15th I can be with a delhi belly cindy, on a moving train balancing ourselves in the toilet at 3 am - and at the same time - Nordstrom's Rack is having a sale. I have personal investments in both obviously.
my friend paul warned me about my return to this life. 'its like you've been through war elizabeth...its gonna take a while to get it together.' never has a statement been so true.
i miss lucknow. i miss the simplicity of it all. the truth behind living within your means, finding a connection with people not based on what they have, but who they are. working towards something you believe in, both in the professional and personal sense. the strange pride of managing your life with hot spit and a prayer. experiencing the outrageous-ness of monkeys and madmen and oiled braids, and loving every. darn. minute. but i aint gonna lie, i heart me a caesar salad, a strawberry lemonade and clean fingernails. i loved my work, but it is good to move on. i must be satisfied knowing it provided me with a deeper sense of humor, clarity, direction and motivation. its up to me to just accept the good...here's to accepting the good and moving in that direction.
as i exited the plane in chicago at 4:30am - i was greeted by my two besties: quite and clean. in a matter of 14 hours, overstimulation had ceased to exist, and i was gifted personal space, a self-forming line, and easy to read signs of what to do in the event of an emergency. it was a scene straight from the movie Babe, when only after knowing the secret sheep code could the herd understand Babe's requests, and in complete silence and without instruction, lead themselves through the obstacle course into the pen -to win the prize. i was that pig. i was that sheep. i won the grand prize. i stood muhaha-ing at all the aunties and uncles in the foreign entry cue - while i cruised by with my american 'chai is something you order from starbucks biiiittttcchhhes' comrades. customs was welcoming, i was overjoyed when the agent hit on me sans crotch dig, wink, or invasive energy - i let out a big 'aawwwwwww', as i was flattered. good to be home.
immediately, i bypassed baggage claim and found the nearest ladies room. i entered, stood with my eyes closed and took 5-7 deep breaths, frantically searching for some trace of filth....nothing....incredible. for the first time in six months i didn't have to hold my breath, or make a choice between stepping in liquid or liquid, or purposefully not wear my glasses to fuzzy up the situation. it was embarrassingly clean. tasteless air is underrated. there is no shame in the fact i love sitting down when i pee. it is euphoria knowing nothing can possibly attack you through the toilet-while you are seated. i celebrate the death of my internal conflict: the belief that using soap from the washroom somehow makes you less sanitary. like a good product of therapy, i felt safe and loved knowing i could lick the stall wall and not melt of dysentery four hours later. it's a gross truth and it was my reality.
being home and hugging everyone was wonderful. while gone, i was never really homesick for family and friends. from my end, there was no feeling of missing out. most of my friends are married or have kids - the days of going out dancing, vacationing, and relaxing are fading out. i knew people were living their lives, and they would still be doing so once i returned. on both sides of the globe our daily routines were monotonous, slowly completing what we have been trying to complete since we began. school. work. kids. sleep. bills. weekends. everyone's day - even mine - had these major headings, but constructed in different orders and colors. with the exception of not being able to make it home for the passing of a man who was a father figure throughout my life (Danny Seals), and the wedding of one of my best sisters (Courtney Gundry) - i felt confident with the distance. i missed my people. but it was good to leave, so i could be reminded of why i love them, why they love me, and why they are my people.
i haven't gone all out yet - eaten everything, seen everyone, pulled an all nighter dancing my heart away- but i've done enough to recognize that i have definitely returned to a new stage in my life and all the ridiculousness that ensues with new shiny stages.
a week or so after i got back Anna, Anisa and I were invited to a 16 year old birthday party for one of our friends in the Baha'i community. sweet 16 party, sounds easy enough right? who would have thought something so straight forward could actually give you the insight of what was to come. Anu's birthday was the persian tea, fingernail painting, place to be. her friends were adorable of course, but i was baffled how children (because that's what they are right?) can have such an intense sense of personal style and grown up sass to accompany such flavor. all i had at 16 was a lack of hair product and cleavage. well, welcome to the new generation. they have hair straighteners, and push-up bras. instead of dancing with the 'kids' in the other room - the 28 andnevertoolate club found ourselves sitting around the dining room table with the parents, discussing Obama's health care plan, politics, and intercultural marriage. my dream of sitting at the adult table had finally arrived, and i wasn't even employed. that night i had an epiphany. i had met Anu and her parents when she was 6. that's right. i have lived in Seattle for a decade. why does this make me feel old. that was more of a statement than a question.
later that week one of the girls friended me on facebook, which i accepted. as i snooped around her page, i clicked on her info to discover her birth year read 1990. my first thought was this had to be a mistake, there is no way a 10 year old could be on facebook, let alone want to friend ME?? and then i realized...it is almost 2010. I am almost 28. i have lower back problems and make the choice to buy and wear orthopedic shoes. i can identify flaxseed in a poopy diaper. i have spider veins. i like to drink hot water. a good nap sounds like a great plan. i watch Suze Orman and take notes. i don't care if she has a jacket addiction. i love her.
note: i will no longer befriend anyone on facebook whose birth year is pre- 1990. so if there are any of you out there reading this, please don't take it personally. also, if you are pre-1990 - some topics in this blog may be inappropriate and misleading about my character.
the plan of getting it together.
so, for my own sanity, i am definitely continuing to blog.
a while back, an episode of Clean Sweep on TLC made the point that we should respect and honor the things we cherish - and remove the things we don't. for example: keeping my home and possessions clean, donating clothes i don't use or need, removing the clutter and excess that hazes your ability to live your best life.
[yes. i am going to be 28. i fantasize about calling in on the Can I Afford it Segment on Suze's show. yes. I obsess about being that favorite guest assistant on Clean Sweep. i will make them cry damnit.]
i actually have come to see this outlet as something of value, something that organizes my thoughts and verbal outbursts, and reminds me of me. with the same immediate powers of the cinnabon center - it makes another day possible. the first part of my plan to get it all together.
cindy and artie, this does not mean that i will be correcting all grammar and spelling mistakes. i will never have it that together, sorry to disappoint. better look to max for that, he's the poet at Berkeley.
that's all i know for now.